29 August 13

Developing Undercover Work at BIRN Summer School

The fourth day of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network Summer School programme continued with lectures on undercover operations and research, as well as tips for following paper trails in stories.

Former FBI undercover operative Stephen Salmieri told the journalists participating in the Summer School that undercover investigative work is extremely dangerous, which is why it should be used as sparingly and requires a lot of preparation.

In order to minimise security risks, Salmieri said that journalists working undercover should not change their personality. He also said that journalists should know their targets and research their sources, as well as keep in constant contact with their parent organisation.

"When doing investigations, know everything you can know your enemy. Let go of your ego and reduce tensions. If you come across as aggressive, the situation will quickly escalate," said Salmieri.

A perfect undercover agent, according to Salmieri, is a smart and aware person who listens carefully.

Two times Pulitzer Prize winner Eric Nalder gave the participants of the Summer School tips on how to gather material evidence and documents from companies and organisations. He emphasised the importance of physically going to organisations, carefully interviewing workers and using psychological tricks to control the communication with them.

Nalder also said that after gathering documents, journalists should organise them carefully.

“Always be organised. Use Excel or other spreadsheets to organise your documents, otherwise you might get lost in them,” said Nalder.

British journalist David Leigh also discussed the need to collect documents, but also highlighted that while writing the story, journalists should make sure to provide readers with several points of access.

“Provide photos, interviews, galleries and short clips. Presentation is key. Your story is useless if it does not reach the public,” said Leigh.

The BIRN Summer School is taking place this week in Slovenia with 30 journalists from Serbia, Slovenia, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Bulgaria, Austria, Estonia, France and Romania participating. It will finish on Friday.

The BIRN Summer School of Investigative Reporting 2013 is organised in cooperation with the Media Program South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and with the support of the King Baudouin Foundation, the Belgian National Lottery, the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, the OSCE Mission to Serbia and USAID in Macedonia.

Fill out my online form.

Latest News and Events

call-for-expression-of-interest-2

Call for Expression of Interest

Strengthening the media’s role in transparency of political party financing.

Durres, April 29-30, 2017

birn-investigates-scandals-at-the-university-of-prishtina

BIRN Investigates Scandals at the University of Prishtina

The University of Prishtina has been plagued with scandals in recent years, leading BIRN to investigate the university’s practices. Through its television programme “Life in Kosovo,” BIRN presented its findings on suspicious promotion cases and dubious professorial publishing practices. 

birn-discusses-fake-news

BIRN Discusses Fake News

 On April 4th, 2017, BIRN was pleased to participate in a weekly salon organized by Democracy for Development, D4D, in Prishtina to discuss the phenomenon of fake news. Opening remarks were delivered by the panelists, including BIRN representatives, about the Internet’s strong influence on loosening the public’s grip on the truth. 

 

who-owns-the-media-in-serbia

Who owns the Media in Serbia?

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and Reporters Without Borders have started a joint “Media Ownership Monitor” project to shed light on the Serbian media market.  

krypomëter-explained-at-university-of-prishtina

Krypomëter Explained at University of Prishtina

April 4th saw the first public lecture on fact checking at the University of Prishtina’s Faculty of Philology, Department of Journalism, concerning the “Krypometër’’ tool created by Kallxo.com. 

fact-checking-day-honoured-at-university-of-aab

Fact-checking Day Honoured at University of AAB

On April 5th, in honour of international fact-checking week, the kallxo.com team in cooperation with University of AAB’s Department of Mass Communications in Pristina, held a lecture at the university.

birn-bih-helps-initiative-plan-monitoring-bosnia-s

BIRN BiH Helps Initiative Plan Monitoring Bosnia’s

Members of the Initiative for Monitoring the European Integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina [the Initiative], including BIRN BiH, held a two-day strategic planning session focusing on monitoring Bosnia’s European integration process in the upcoming period. The session took place on March 21st and 22nd in the capital, Sarajevo.

birn-regional-project-on-openness-now-underway

BIRN Regional Project on Openness Now Underway

With the support of German Foreign Office Stability Pact funds, BIRN regional organisation has started the implementation of a nine-month regional project that aims to contribute to professionalizing media reporting on legal proceedings related to organized crime and corruption.

BIRN Chats with Student Participants in “Dialogue Across Borders”

On March 10th, 2017, BIRN hosted a group of students, primarily studying political science, who were participating in a workshop organized by “Dialogue Across Borders: Overcoming Borders through European Integration.” The project specifically aims to facilitate dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, while assisting in the normalization of relations between the two.

challenging-dangerous-messages-online-workshop-application

Challenging Dangerous Messages Online: Workshop Application

CIJA US, in cooperation with BIRN and the Foundation Dokukino will organize a series of capacity building activities in the Western Balkans in 2017 for activists, journalists, bloggers, educators and other online (and offline) influencers to help develop online communication strategies to respond to dangerous content.

In This Article

Network